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Frequently Asked Questions - Ballots

In a nonpartisan (Spring) election, the order in which candidates names appear on the ballot is determined by the drawing of lots, or by any method that is by chance.  S. 5.60(1)(b), Wis. Stats.  3/24/2003

In a partisan primary, the order in which candidates of one party's names appear is also determined by lot.

At a partisan General Election (such as for Governor or President) the ballot order is determined by which political party's candidate received the most votes at the last General Election. For example, Governor Walker received the most votes in the 2010 General Election, so Republican candidates were first on the 2012 General Election ballot. In 2012, President Obama received the most votes, so Democratic candidates are first on the 2014 General Election ballot.

The ballot order for independent candidates is determined by lot.

In the above example, the statutory language is:  “Vote for not more than three.”  The number of candidates an elector is allowed to vote for, whether at a primary or an election, is the same as the number of officers to be elected.  S. 5.52, Wis. Stats.  3/24/2003

Once a candidate qualifies for ballot status, her name appears on the ballot.  The candidate cannot withdraw and have her name removed.  Only in case of death of the candidate can the name be removed from the ballot.  S. 8.35, Wis. Stats. 

The candidate can make a statement to notice the electors that she no longer wishes to seek the office by election, but her name will appear on the ballot.  Should the candidate win the election, she may decline to hold the office.  This creates a vacancy that is filed following the provisions of Ch. 17.  3/12/2003